How to Build a Whelping Box
by Damien Andrews
Permanently attaching the walls to the floor
Remove all of the clamps and have someone help you gently turn the whelping box over – so that it sits firmly on at least three of the walls. The sealant should easily hold the walls in place during this step.
Using the above process, drill and countersink six evenly spaced #6x2” wood screws through the outer edges of the floor and into the center of the bottom of each wall.
Again, have someone assist you in turning the box over so the top of the box is facing up.
Install one galvanized exterior corner brace onto each out corner using #8x3/4” pan head screws. Install these down two inches from the top of the walls. Be sure your selected corner brace will not require that you place a screw where one already exists!
Installing the rails
The last thing you’ll need to do is install railings all the way around the inside of the whelping box. These railings serve several purposes, the most important of which is to prevent the mother from accidentally laying down on and crushing one of her puppies.
Cut four pieces of 1” diameter, thin wall electrical conduit to a length of 3’ – 10½”. Now, measure up from the inside floor 3” and 4” from the outer wall. Drill a 1” hole using an auger, not a spade bit as it will chip the laminate. Repeat this process on the opposite wall. Run a piece of the cut conduit through both holes so that the outside edges of the conduit are recessed inside of each wall. From the outside of the box, glue this into place using a permanent adhesive such as Gorilla Glue or PC7.
Repeat the last step on the wall across from the conduit you just installed.
The other two pieces of conduit should be placed 4” above the floor on the two remaining walls. This will prevent these pieces of conduit from running into the first two pieces.
Now seal any area between the conduit wall and the interior wall laminate using a silicone sealant. This will strengthen the conduit and also preclude any water form getting into your wood. Be SURE to finish off this seal very carefully. Do not leave and bumps or lumps or extruded areas of sealant that the puppies might chew on and swallow.
Allow 24-hours for all the glues and sealants to completely dry. A piece of fine emery cloth can be used to smooth/polish the conduit, if desired.
Now, the whelping box is ready to place into service. This box should last through many litters, be easy to keep clean, and remain odor free. A safe laminate cleaner, that also deodorizes nicely, is a 2:1 vinegar and water mixture.
Now it’s time to start thinking of names for all of those new puppies.
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